Florida Culture for the Week of November 27, 2016 By Josh Garrick

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Florida Culture for the Week of November 27, 2016 By Josh Garrick 

TODAY -- Nov 27 at 3 pm – 44th Annual FREE Performance of the ‘Messiah’ 
The non-profit Messiah Choral Society is now in its 44th season of giving a FREE performance of Handel’s ‘The Messiah’ at the Bob Carr Theater as a gift to the greater Orlando community. Considered the most magnificent masterwork of all time, the Messiah features the “Hallelujah Chorus” and a host of other glorious orchestrations. At this FREE performance, audience members are invited to bring non-perishable food items to benefit those served by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Call 321.285.6382 or visit messiahchoralsociety.org Messiah Choral Society’s 44th Annual Free Performance of the ‘Messiah’
Messiah Choral Society’s 44th Annual Free Performance of the ‘Messiah’

Nov 29 at 8 pm – ‘Women in Song’ Series Debuts at The Plaza Live 
Speaking of the new ‘Women In Song Series,’ presented by the Orlando Philharmonic, Music Director Eric Jacobsen said, “From operatic to indie rock, these concerts feature some of the greatest talents of today.” The first concert is in the 200-seat Plaza Live Theater and will feature Ariadne Greif, performing songs by Schubert and Dvorak, underscored by the Orlando Philharmonic. Maestro Jacobsen will play the cello on several pieces in the 60-minute performance. For tickets, visit OrlandoPhil.org‘Women in Song’ Series Debuts at The Plaza Live

Nov 30 – Orlando’s Own Fernando Varela – The VOICE
Born in San Juan, Fernando Varela moved to Orlando at the age of eight. At seventeen his impressive talent got him noticed by Grammy Award-Winning Josh Groban who eventually asking Fernando to tour the world. Fernando went on to headline his own fifty-date-tour in 2014 and prepares to release a new album in 2017. "Vivere" is a classical/pop/crossover album showcasing the soaring vocals that make Fernando one of the most captivating tenors in the world. At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

 Orlando’s Own Fernando Varela – The VOICE
 Orlando’s Own Fernando Varela – The VOICE

Nov 30 to Dec 30 – Orlando Shakes’ ‘EVERY Christmas Story Ever Told’ 
As an audience member you will LOVE the moment when the rehearsal for ‘yet another’ production of "A Christmas Carol" devolves into an irreverent look at ALL of our favorite ‘Holiday Classics’ including ‘Wonderful Life,’ Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and more! Three actors (with the help of Santa) take a tongue in cheek look at everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss in the funniest satire you may ever experience – in ANY season. I LOVE THIS SHOW and recommend it highly. At Orlando Shakes, call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org 

Orlando Shakes’ ‘EVERY Christmas Story Ever Told’

Dec 1 at 6:15 pm – The Morse Museum’s ‘Christmas in the Park’ Window Lighting
At 6:15 on December 1, a signal is given to turn on the Morse Museum window lights, and Winter Park’s holiday season begins. The Museum lights up 9 of its Tiffany windows in Central Park and presents the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble in concert. ‘Christmas in the Park’ is a way for the Museum to share their rare Tiffany collection with the public, and in its 38th year, the event is still FREE. Eight of the leaded-glass windows have religious themes, and the ninth - Tiffany Studios’ Christmas Eve window, c. 1902, with Father Christmas holding the Christ child, will also be on view. FREE in Winter Park’s Central Park. 
Tiffany Glass, NYC, 1892–1900 from the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art at 445 North Park Avenue in Winter Park
Tiffany Glass, NYC, 1892–1900 from the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art at 445 North Park Avenue in Winter Park. 407.645.5311

Dec 1 at 8 pm – Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China
Experience feats of acrobatic skill, impeccably timed stunts, and beautiful costumes as the Shanghai Acrobats pay homage to China's rich cultural heritage. In this celebration of human accomplishment trampoline artists and aerialists fly through the air while jugglers, contortionists, and martial artists demonstrate the dangerous precision of their skills. A multitude of extraordinary sets completes the stage picture to leave us breathless with what we see at every Shanghai Acrobats performance. At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

 Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China

Dec 3 at 5 pm – Calling All Octo-Cadets!
The Octonauts are bringing their LIVE stage show to the Dr. Phillips Center with ‘The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano’ featuring songs led by Captain Barnacles and Lieutenant Kwazii along with animated projections on a massive on-stage screen. This new quest is perfect for all fans of the Disney series. Available for ‘Super-Fans,’ The Octonaut Explorer Party Package, at $130 per ticket, includes special seating and an invitation to the ‘Octopod Party’ after the show (Call 888.805.8930). General admission starts at $29.50 at drphillipscenter.org or 844.513.2014 

Octonauts
Octonauts

Dec 3 & 4 – Pianist Emanuel Ax with the Orlando Philharmonic at the Bob Carr 
Seven-time Grammy winner and piano superstar Emanuel Ax will perform the beautiful Concerto No. 2 by Beethoven in two performances with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra at the Bob Carr Theater. Conducted by Eric Jacobsen, the program will include a World Premiere by American composer Lisa Bielawa, Mozart’s dramatic Symphony No. 40 in G minor, and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture to complete this program of orchestral greatness. Please note: Due to road construction, give yourself extra time for parking at the Bob Carr Theater. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org 

 Pianist Emanuel Ax with the Orlando Philharmonic at the Bob Carr

Dec 3 & 4 -- Cultural Fusion presents Christmas is Comin' Uptown 
Written by Phillip Rose and Peter Udell, and ‘loosely’ based on Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol,” “Comin’ Uptown” brings to life all the same characters of Charles Dickens most famous story. But this time Scrooge, Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, are endowed with some urban ‘Soul.’ Set in Harlem in the early 70’s, this re-visited Christmas classic is ready to become a special part of your family’s Holiday joy. At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
Cultural Fusion presents Christmas is Comin' Uptown

Dec 3 & 4 – Town of Celebration Holiday Home Tour & Winter Wonderland
One of Central Florida’s most beautiful home tours returns with fabulously decorated homes in Celebration, FL. For 18 years, this Home Tour has attracted thousands of visitors to the aptly named Celebration community with this year’s tour being held Dec 3 from 3 to 9 pm and Dec 4 from 1 to 5 pm. New this year, the tour includes a hospitality stop at Celebration’s Town Hall including admission to a ‘Winter Wonderland’ of decorated Christmas trees and tablescapes available for sale. Visit ‘2016 Celebration 18th Annual Holiday Home Tour’ on facebook. 
Town of Celebration Holiday Home Tour & Winter Wonderland

Dec 6 from 6 to 8 pm – Josh Garrick’s ‘A VERY Classical Christmas’ Opening Reception 
Hosted by the Downtown Arts District Orlando at Bloomingdale’s at the Mall of Millenia, the Public is invited to the FREE opening reception of ‘A VERY Classical Christmas,’ featuring the artwork of Orlando’s own Josh Garrick on Tuesday, December 6. Located on the 3rd floor showroom, Bloomingdale’s supports the arts by allowing viewers to conceptualize owning the Artists' work in their homes with a percentage of all art sales donated to the Downtown Arts District. Support the Downtown Arts District, enjoy wine and lite bites, and celebrate ‘A VERY Classical Christmas!’
Josh Garrick’s ‘A VERY Classical Christmas’ Opening Reception

Dec 8 & 9 at 7:30 pm -- CFCArts Community Choir presents the ‘Stories of Christmas’
In a show that shares family traditions, childhood memories, personal stories and more through our favorite Christmas songs, join the 300-voice CFCArts Community Choir and members of the CFCArts Symphony Orchestra for their rendition of ‘The Stories of Christmas.’ This year, the show incorporates the retelling of the Christmas story through traditional Christmas hymns. Performances will take place at Northland Church in Longwood. Tickets are $10, $15, $25 and $50. Call 407-937-1800 x 710 or visit cfcommunityarts.com
CFCArts Community Choir presents the ‘Stories of Christmas’

Dec 8 to 11 – The Orlando Ballet presents The Nutcracker
The Orlando Ballet's enchanting favorite, the Nutcracker, returns to the Dr. Phillips Center. The gift of a toy nutcracker from her godfather transports Clara on a magical journey to a world of fantasy and fun complete with the Mouse King, Sugar Plum Fairy, and a host of dancing toys. For the very young, you may also consider the one-hour ‘Family Performance’ version of the Nutcracker on December 10 at 11 am. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
The Orlando Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Dec 9 at 8 pm & Dec 11 at 2 pm – One-Man Presentation of A Christmas Carol 
Written and performed by David McElroy, Southern Winds Theater presents Mr. McElroy’s one-man presentation of A Christmas Carol, adapted for the stage with McElroy performing ALL 37 CHARACTERS. In this tour-de-force, McElroy brings to life all the characters of the Dickens’ classic from Tiny Tim to the Three Ghosts. This solo interpretation, with music, is for both adults and children (7 and up) at the Blue Bamboo Center at 1905 Kentucky Ave in Winter Park. Call 407.341.3495 or visit bluebambooartcenter.com/shows
 One-Man Presentation of A Christmas Carol

Dec 10 & 11 -- Lakeridge Winery’s Annual Chocolate Festival 
Wine and Chocolate is the theme for this very special event at this Holiday time of year. Visit with local Artists and Crafters as they display their work; enjoy live music by incredible bands on the vineyard’s outdoor stage throughout the weekend; and taste Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of foods available for purchase, along with complementary Winery tours and tastings. A $2 Donation to benefit The Leesburg Regional Medical Center Heart Institute is requested to enter the festival grounds. Visit lakeridgewinery.com
Lakeridge Winery’s Annual Chocolate Festival

Dec 11 at 7:30 pm – Maitland Symphony presents FREE Holiday Concert – ‘A Russian Christmas!’ 
Under the direction of Artistic Director Eric Mendez, The Maitland Symphony Orchestra will present their FREE holiday concert with an emphasis on Russian music. Called ‘A Russian Christmas!’ the ‘Nutcracker’ will be performed along with many other holiday favorites. Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell and MSO Founder Margaret Patten will co-emcee the FREE event at the Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Ave in Maitland. Call 321-303-1404
Maitland Symphony presents FREE Holiday Concert – ‘A Russian Christmas!’

NOW to Dec 11 – A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration 
When Noel Coward reigned supreme, High Society meant hats and gloves, and the brilliance of the English language. Now The Winter Park Playhouse invites you to “A MARVELOUS PARTY” in Celebration of Noel Coward. As sparkling as a newly-popped bottle of champagne, this party is a musical romp featuring thirty-three tunes and a bevy of anecdotes and musings by the incomparable Noël Coward. Call 407.645.0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org 

A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration

NOW to Dec 18 – Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf at Orlando Rep 
From the Grammy-winning musician, this joyous new musical is about the happiest elf at the North Pole. He is SO HAPPY that his constant exuberance wears others out. Still he believes if he can restore ‘JOY’ to the town of Bluesville, he will win a spot on Santa’s sleigh. Faith and teamwork are gifts to be shared in this story of elf magic, and Harry Connick, Jr. has written a wonderful score for the story. Experience the Orlando Rep’s Holiday offering by calling 407.896.7365 or visiting orlandorep.com 

 Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf at Orlando Rep

NOW to Dec 18 – George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’ at the Mad Cow Theatre 
Yes – this is the George Bernard Shaw play that gave us ‘My Fair Lady’ – this time performed as Shaw wrote it. Without the songs, we get to more clearly see Shaw’s observations on the British class system, gender stereotypes, and ‘middle-class morality.’ Shaw’s most popular play – that gave us Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle – is an entertaining Holiday treat from the elves at Mad Cow Theatre. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com

George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’ at the Mad Cow Theatre

NOW to Jan 8 – Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens 
With a host of festive events, there is something for everyone to enjoy this Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens! Celebrate the season with the historic Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate, special carillon concerts, winter garden tours, and the colorful poinsettia displays lining the ‘River of Stone.’ Add in the decorating workshops and special night-time carillon concerts with live choir and/or orchestra, and enjoy a touch of Christmas throughout the famous Gardens. Call 863.676.1408 or visit boktowergardens.org for a complete schedule.Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens

 

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators